Setting up at the Invisible Wind Factory, Getintothis’ Sinead Nunes believes this years’ Vogue Ball may have been the best one yet.
The category is: iconic! Last weekend, House of Suarez celebrated their 10th birthday with the biggest and best Vogue Ball yet, at the incredible Invisible Wind Factory.
Transforming the vast warehouse space was a fifty foot catwalk, decked out with neon, glitz and a whole lot of camp, as the venue prepared for the most iconic night of the year…
Entering the space, visitors were greeted by the night’s compere; the divine and hilarious Rikki Beadle-Blair, whose stage presence and outrageous commentary throughout the evening set the tone for a truly memorable night. Combining fierce, fast dance offs, outrageous costumes, a buzzing carnival atmosphere, and more drag queens than you’d find on a Friday night in Superstar Boudoir, the stage was set for the iconic ball.
For those unfamiliar with the ballroom world of gay culture, it’s a scene of competitive modelling, dress-up, and sharp, sexy voguing; a highly stylised dance dance movement that evolved out of Harlem in the 1980s, most famously depicted in Jennie Livingston’s cult documentary Paris is Burning.
On Saturday night, House of Suarez, House of Cards, House of Rare and many more competed against each other for iconic status – and the crowd lapped up every minute. Offering a bit of context, the audience were first treated to a brief history of ballroom culture, before the catwalk opened for business – welcome to the runway!
From a dress inspired by Warhol’s infamous Campbell’s Soup can, to risqué biblical vignettes and super sexy Egyptian gods, every sense of the word “iconic” was presented on stage through flamboyant, intricate costumes.
The standard of design was jaw dropping, with each stunning, sex-infused creation was more stupefying than the last. Whether they were serving body-ody-ody, or catwalk realness, each model owned the runway, with highlights including a snake charming siren, the most limber Wednesday Addams we’ve ever witnessed, and a vision in silver; a dancer whose fluidity transcended belief as he contorted and twisted his body on stage.
The key to the night’s success (apart from every element being 100% fabulous) was variety; from burlesque, to fast-paced street dance, to traditional voguing, and catwalk sashays, each performer, or dance troupe brought something different, creating a truly original spectacle.
— Queer Media UK (@QueerMediaUK) October 17, 2016
Challenging traditional perceptions of beauty, the Vogue Ball celebrates all body shapes, styles and tastes, with performers and costume designers pushing the boundaries of appearance, from the attractive to the grotesque, comic, and everything in between,
And the variety wasn’t just reserved for the runway; punters got into the “iconic” spirit, with some of our favourite costumes including a dripping-in-gold Oscars-inspired dress, and a stunning Statue of Liberty!
The night finished off with an open call to the audience – the stage is yours, children! For a few minutes, anyone and everyone was invited to become “iconic” and be part of Darren Suarez’s House as the stage show came to a close, and the party continued into the early hours.
And guess what? We’re still gagging for more.
Pictures by Getintothis’ John Johnson